Three Receive Highest County Employee Award


June 17, 2014

News Highlights

  • Three Fairfax County employees receive the 2013 Onthank Award, the highest county honor for employees.
  • The award was established by the Board of Supervisors to honor the memory of Col. A. Heath Onthank, the first chairman of the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission (1957-1962).


Three employees have been selected to receive the A. Heath Onthank Award, the highest honor Fairfax County bestows on its employees. The awards were presented today at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The 2013 recipients are:

  • Cynthia Tianti, deputy county attorney, Office of the County Attorney. Tianti was recognized for successfully coordinating a complicated litigation effort and negotiating and implementing the settlement for a 50-year dispute regarding water service in Fairfax County. She spearheaded the entire process – from the initial litigation, through settlement negotiations, and through the boundary adjustment process.

  • Dean Klein, director, Office to Prevent and End Homelessness. Klein was recognized for his effort leading the transformation of service provision to individuals and families who are homeless. As a result, the county has seen huge decreases in the number of people who are homeless, both individuals and families, at a time in which homeless counts are on the rise nationally.

  • Tom Biesiadny, director, Department of Transportation. Biesadny excelled in supporting the Board of Supervisors and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) in the implementation of landmark historic transportation legislation that passed the General Assembly in March 2013. Biesadny led DOT staff as well as his contemporaries in neighboring jurisdictions to develop processes and plans for selecting and funding significant transportation projects.

The Onthank Award was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1966 to honor the memory of Col. A. Heath Onthank, the first chairman of the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission (1957-1962) and guiding force of the county’s career merit system.

The award recognizes accomplishments of outstanding worth by an individual county employee, in advancing and improving public service in Fairfax County Government and the school system.

Eligibility for the Onthank Award is open to merit system employees of county government and contracted, unified salary scale and food service employees of Fairfax County Public Schools. Nominations come from residents, fellow employees, civic groups and business and professional organizations.

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(Click for High-Res Version)

Onthank Award recipientsTom Biesiadny, Cynthia Tianti and Dean Klein received plaques
at the Board of Supervisors meeting.


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